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Three simple actions that doubled my website traffic in 30 days

The following post on how to increase website traffic was submitted by Adrian W Kingsley-Hughes.

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I started the PC Doctor blog in May of 2005 and for the first few months my traffic was really low – down in the few hundreds of visitors a day. It was pretty depressing I can tell you and there were times when I thought about quitting.  I knew that the site was in the Google ‘sandbox’ and so I either had to keep on plugging at it until it was out or I had to give up.

Fortunately, I decided to keep on posting but in the interim I decided that I was also going to do my utmost to drive traffic to my site manually until Google kicked in. I took a look around at what some of the successful blogs were doing and came up with three tactics that helped to double my website traffic in a month.

  1. First, I made the most of Technorati tags.  I tagged every key word in each of my posts. Initially I did this manually but them I discovered a WordPress plugin called SimpleTags that made the job a whole lot easier. I found that by tagging my post effectively they were getting a lot more attention then their untagged counterparts, and as an added advantage I was getting focused, quality traffic to the site!
  2. I leveraged my existing website.  I’ve been running my business website for a few years and that was getting modest levels of traffic that was relevant to my blog – so why not try to drive some of that to my new blog! I placed a few FeedBurner headline animator blocks on some of my most popular pages and after a day or so I noticed a significant increase in traffic for 5 minutes worth of work on my part.
  3. Finally, I made effective use of trackback links to popular sites. If I commented on a post on another site I would make sure that I set up the appropriate trackback for it. The results from this are varied depending on the site and post that you are linking to but since I liked to comment and interact with the wider blogosphere anyway, it was free traffic!

Using these three simple techniques, I took The PC Doctor blog from a few hundred hits a day into the thousands in less than 30 days. This kept my interest in the site until it came out of the Google sandbox and I started to receiver some serious traffic. However, I’m convinced that these actions I took at the early stages have helped me create a loyal and targeted readership that continues to benefit my blog today.

Further Reading: If finding new traffic for your blog is what you’re interested in – check out 31 Days to Build a Better Blog – a month long set of exercises to help you develop content but also build a well read blog.

Seven Offline Tips for Increasing Blog Traffic

This post was submitted by Ted Demopoulos, co-author of Blogging for Business, Demopoulos Associates.

Most bloggers concentrate on online methods for building their blog traffic. There are also a number of effective offline methods worth exploring for increasing the number of readers.

Suggested offline methods can range from simple and practical, like mentioning your blog on your business card, to outrageous and impractical for most, such as hiring a skywriter or advertising on the side of a blimp. I’ll admit it — I’ve always wanted my own blimp!

Here are some simple and practical methods that my clients and I have had success with. Some are bound to be applicable and simple to implement for you.

1. Business Cards

Most business cards list the organization’s Web site. Listing your business blog on your business card as well is very respectable. Listing your blog on your business card can help it stand out instead of being filed with all the others — never to be seen again, and can start conversations with clients and prospects. When exchanging business cards, many people report questions such as ‘what do you blog on?’ and ‘how long have you been blogging?’ and others.

I’ll admit I don’t mention either Blogging for Business or The Ted Rap on my business card. Why? I seem to have a multi-year supply of “old” cards. If I were starting again however, I probably would print new cards and I obviously will eventually. I think I would have built readership for The Ted Rap faster if it had been displayed on my business card.
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How to Get Your Blog to 100,000 Visitors and Beyond

This post has been submitted by ‘FMF’ from Free Money Finance. It’s actually the first post in a series he’s going to start on FMF in the coming week by the same title.

How to Get Your Blog to 100,000 Visitors and Beyond – Step 1: Pick the Right Topic

I’ve had a lot of requests to detail how I got 100,000 visitors (now past 150k as I write this) to Free Money Finance. While the topic is not clearly in the subject area of personal finances, it can be part of how you increase your income (and thus improve your net worth), so I’ll cover it. Plus, this will serve to help out other bloggers as well as remind me of what else I need to do to grow this blog. If this isn’t your cup of tea, simply ignore these posts. I post frequently enough that a new, money-related post is not far behind this one.

I’ll over this topic in a series of “steps”, each one presenting a simple, unique step I took to get to 100,000 visitors. I’ll also try to keep the steps in the order I did them, though several happened simultaneously, so that won’t be easy.

That said, here we go.

Step 1 to getting to 100,000 visitors and beyond: Pick the right topic.

This might seem to be a simple step (and maybe even counter blogging — can’t I just blog about what I want?), but it’s critical. To me, the right topic is one that:

You’re passionate about — If you’re not passionate about it, you won’t post regularly, you’ll lose interest, and your readers will be able to tell your heart isn’t really in it (and they’ll go away). If you are, your readers will identify with you and get to “love” your personality. And they’ll come back. And tell their friends to stop by.

You’re knowledgeable about — You don’t have to be an expert on the topic, but you need to know more than most people to get a lot of people to your site. Otherwise, why would they stop by (or come back)?

Is it popular — Let’s face it, if you want to write about the exercise habits of your hamster, not many people are likely to visit your blog. You have to have a topic that many, many people want to read about if you want to get to 100k. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t write about your hamster (or anything else a large group wouldn’t want to read about). If you blog for your own pleasure, then go for it — make Hammy a star. But if you want to get to 100,000 visitors, you need a topic (like personal finances) that many people what to know more about.

Watch out for the rest of FMF’s series later in the week at Free Money Finance.

11 Techniques to Increase Page Views on Your Blog

Yesterday my brief study into page view statistics revealed that the average blog reader views around 1.7 pages every time they visit a blog.

I finished the post by indicating that I’d post more on how to increase your blog’s page views.

Of course more page views may or may not be what you want from your blog. At least one commenter on the previous post noted that they are happy with a low page view count because it could mean people are leaving their blog by clicking on an advertisement and thereby earning them money. While there could be some truth in this observation and I’m not adverse to this happening on my blogs – I’m also interested in building blogs that people find interesting and useful and one of the many measures of this can be page views. Of course to get back to the money thing again – those of you running impression based ads will be interested in increased page views also.

Having said that – IF you’re interested in increasing the number of pages that your average reader reads, here are a few suggestions that might help:

1. Highlight Related Posts – one of the more common practices of bloggers to encourage readers to read multiple pages on their blogs is to to highlight related posts at the end of your article. You’ll notice that i presently have a list of 5 posts at the end of each individual page that suggests other posts that readers might find useful This list is generated by a WordPress PlugIn. Those of you using other blog platforms might find similar plugins for your own system or might like to manually suggest related articles at the end of your posts.

2. Interlink within Posts – a similar but perhaps more effective technique is to highlight relevant posts within the content of your posts. If you’re writing a post that mentions something similar to what you’ve written before simply link to your previous post from within your article. For example I’ve written about this technique previously in a post on increasing the longevity of key posts.

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Promote your RSS feed with ‘Add to Google’ button

You can now add a Add to Google button to your blog that will promote your RSS feed to readers to help them add your feed to their Google homepage and/or Google Reader.

Add to Google

found via Steve

13 Tips on Asking other Bloggers for Links

Robert writes a blog tip on how to ask him for a link in his post – A PR tip, don’t beg for links:

‘Never beg a blogger for links. Say, instead, “here’s something you might find interesting.”’

Here’s a few other tips when you’re emailing other bloggers with links. I’m speaking here both as someone who occasionally lets others know about posts I’ve written but also as someone who gets my fair share of emails:

  1. Check to see if they’ve already written about it - This is a pretty important one. If you’re letting them know of a breaking story that they have already posted about it’s not a good look – at least scan their front page before shooting them the email.
  2. Don’t be offended if they don’t reply or use your link - some bloggers (like Robert) get heaps of ‘check out this link’ emails every day. They can’t possibly link to every one or acknowledge everyone with a reply.
  3. Make sure your link is relevant and useful – Be selective in which posts you promote in this way. Only send relevant stories out to bloggers who have a specific interest in that particular niche.
  4. Be Selective in which posts you promote - as interesting as YOU might find every post that you write – consider that every post on a blog is not going to have wide appeal. Carefully select the cream of the crop to promote in this way or you might just develop a reputation for being a bit of a spammer. Perhaps there is something in the story of ‘the Boy who cried Wolf’ to be learned…..we could rewrite it as ‘The Blogger who Cried ‘Great Link!’
  5. Personalize it - In an age when you can notify thousands of people of something with the click of a mouse it’s amazing what using a person’s name can achieve. Show the blogger that you’ve taken the effort to send them and them alone an email by mentioning their blog, name etc and you up your chances of it being read and responded to. If you’re sending notifications to more than one person be especially careful that you don’t send an email out with someone else’s name on it!
  6. Remember that you might not be the only person giving them the tip – I quite often get the same story from multiple people (I guess when you get a reputation in a niche you are often the first place people will turn to when a relevant story breaks). While I like to credit sources of information – sometimes it is hard when you could link to 10 people or when you found it yourself first.
  7. Introduce yourself – Consider a brief introduction (and I mean brief – see below). Blogging is about relationship – people like to link to people they know, respect and have relationship with. A quick introduction of who you are and what your blog is can begin to build relationship. Of course if you are sure they know you already – you might want to skip this one – although if they are a big blogger don’t assume they know you because you’ve had contact with them before – it’s easy to forget. You might want to include a signature in your post with your details to help overcome this.
  8. Keep it brief - Most people are busy and don’t have time to wade through long emails with convoluted explanations or introductions. Attempt to keep it short and to the point.
  9. Keep it informative – An email that says ‘check out this link’ doesn’t give me any reason to check it out. But if you tell me the topic you might just peak my interest. Again – be brief – but give the main point in a few words of what the story is.
  10. Give something away – This might not be appropriate to every post you write. But one thing I often do when notifying someone of a post is to offer them free use of the picture that I have on my post. This is particularly relevant for when I’m notifying someone of a post I’ve written on one of my product blogs. Of course the picture has to be yours to give away (or copyright free) but if you help them make their post be as comprehensive as possible without them having to do a whole heap of work you might just get the result you’re after.
  11. Be Generous with your own links - While I don’t generally consider whether the person chasing a link has linked to me – I suppose in the back of one’s mind must be the memory of a past relationship with the person. If you’ve linked up to them previously you might have made an impression.
  12. Original content is best – If you’re asking for a link to your own story you’ll have a better chance of a link up if it is original content. If you’re just linking to someone else you’re less likely to get linked to. If it’s a story that you’re linking to make sure you add your own comments or take on the story – make it your own in a sense.
  13. Learn from your experiences – As you do this more and more you’ll learn a few things. Firstly you’ll learn who responds well to being notified and who doesn’t. Secondly you’ll learn about what types of links people respond to and what types they ignore. Learn from this and let your future practicing of it be impacted by it. If someone never responds or links up – maybe it’s worth not emailing them any more – you might just be annoying them. If they ask you to stop sending them links – respect their request. If you notice that a certain type of link gets lots of links – consider writing more of these and letting people know about them etc.

I’m sure there are other tips that readers here would give. Feel free to add your own tips on how to ask for links from other bloggers in comments below.

Generating Blog Traffic

Arieanna has a good post over at blogging help where she talks about her experience of having some traffic spikes on her blogs and how she recommends others go about Generating traffic. Here’s a couple of her tips:

‘- Write 25-40% original content. For some blogs this will mean reading news feeds, as well as other blogs, to catch news first. You can also consider non-RSS content research to find items or to connect the dots between topics….

- Send emails to big blogs in your area. Pitch a story, write something interesting about your blog, and make that link prominent.’

Poll of the Week – Where does your Traffic Come From?

Bouncing off last week’s poll which identified that most people want to learn how to get more readers to their blog – this week’s poll asks you to identify the way that most of your blog readers currently find your blog/s.

I know picking one might be difficult – but I’ve chosen to make this poll a ‘one choice’ per vote only one so pick the predominant one. If you have more than one blog do it on an overall sense. For example – over my 20 blogs I get the vast majority of readers from search engines.

Here at Problogger that is a little different as I have a higher repeat readership level – but on my bigger blogs SE’s refer larger amounts of readers.

If you want to explain your vote, or talk about how different blogs are different etc you can do so in comments below.

Blog Crushes Revealed – Round 2

BlogcrushReaders are submitting their Blog Crushes thick and fast now. In addition to Round 1′s submissions I have great pleasure in presenting 15 more lovebirds (or love-bloggers). If you want to join their ranks follow the instructions in this post. In the mean time – here are the latest crushes: